I am a TV reject. Sigh, sniffle. After two telehone interviews on my book and my views on the presidential campaign, I was invited to air my views on France 2’s Sunday lunchtime show ‘Un Dimanche de Campagne.’ The journalist told me he liked my book, loved my accent, and would send a taxi round to pick me up. Would I mind being filmed during the make-up session? No problemo. And could I speak about the British perspective on the French campaign? Mais bien sur…. I dispatched my uncle and various friends out to the pub Friday night for sample surveys….
And then Saturday, I receieved an unintelligible call on my mobile. I called back to find out that France 2 don’t want me after all. They must have found someone more important with a better accent. Sniff.
After being consoled bu Donato, I got another call from the France 2 assistant informing me that my taxi had been booked.
‘But I’ve just been told you don’t want me anymore,’ I said, much to the poor man’s embarassement.
So France 2 may not want me. But having gone to the trouble of doing a random UK-census of the campaign, I wouldn’t want my respondents efforts to go to waste.
From The Plough pub in Appleton, near Oxford.
‘From a bloke-ish perspective it has to be Segolene; add the Royal name to the good looks and she’s the must-win choice. Benchmarked against Angela Merkel at the Euro-summits, she looks a winner to me. She’d charm the socks off the likes of Gordon Brown, and George Bush; on the other hand if she has to handle Hilary [Clinton], that might be tougher… Didn’t Nicolas Sarkozy let slip some dodgy remarks about immigrants ? ‘
From a proprietaire:
‘I’m certainly interested in the French political scene, partly because of our property but also because it is so different from our system. I find it astonishing that they have stuck with Chirac for so long and still allow him to behave like he’s untouchable.
‘I also find the constant comparisons with Blair quite amusing. Blair is now very unpopular in the UK and, whilst he’s trying very hard to establish his legacy, most people don’t think he’s got one apart from Iraq. The French seems to have difficulty in hiding their secret admiration of our system and our national character, however hard they try.’
From a Chirac admirer:
‘We are happy that the French are recognising the fact that they are no longer the centre of the universe. The Brits suffered the same fate some forty years ago.
‘We will miss Chirac because it is the end of supremely confident and arrogant presidents (in the style of De Gaulle) and fear that everything which comes after will be focussed on public relations rather than clear and coherent policies.’
‘Here all attention is on the Scottish election, the leadership battle between Blair and Brown and the possible breaking up of UK if the SNP wins which is looking like a real possibility. i haven’t seen much in the British papers at all about the French elections.’